In 2021, Making Headway Foundation is proud to share our milestone 25th Anniversary of supporting families of children diagnosed with brain or spinal cord tumors. Since the day we started, Making Headway has been fiercely dedicated to the Care, Comfort, and Cure of these children and their families.
Nearly everything Making Headway does is made possible by the support of individuals like you. Over the past 25 years, we have received more than 75,000 donations. Every one of them has been critical to our short- and long-term ability to help children with a brain or spinal cord tumor. As we look to the future, Making Headway has realized how many more programs and services we could offer to families, if we could only fund them. Keeping in mind that 85% of every donation we receive goes to direct services, it comes down to a simple fact: If we receive more or larger donations, we can help more people. And to all of those who have helped support Making Headway over the past years, please accept out deepest and most sincere thank you. Everything we have done is only thanks to your generosity.
Making headway Foundation has raised and allocated over $26,600,000 to support medical research, quality-of-life programs, college scholarships, hospital care services, clinical trials, neuro-oncology fellowships, family events, emergency care, educational advocacy, bereavement services, public education, playroom improvements, free family and individual therapy, health and wellness, tissue banking, and research equipment. Everything we do is to help children and their families.
Once the hospital stay has ended, Making Headway continues its high level of support for families that would otherwise be left to cope for themselves. Our Ongoing Care Program provides a diverse variety of free-of-charge support services, including support groups, individual psychological counseling and educational advocacy. For parents who have lost children, we offer periodic bereavement groups and assistance with funeral expenses. Learn more at MakingHeadway.org/care/.
Making Headway’s ongoing care team has provided families with over 12,000 hours of free, expert, psychological therapy to help them through their journey; and over 8,000 hours of free, professional, educational advocacy services, ensuring that each child receives the school-based services and assistance they need to reach their academic potential. Making Headway has also awarded over 100 college scholarships to survivors of a brain or spinal cord tumor.
For children being treated at several local hospitals, Making Headway works to allay anxiety and make the hospital stay more comfortable. At the Hassenfeld Children’s Center (a day hospital children visit for treatments), Making Headway funds a child life specialist and a nurse clinician, as well as massage and yoga services. We provide arts and crafts projects, games and nutritional snacks in the playroom. Our annual Family Fun Day, yacht cruise and New York City theatrical event are free-of-charge for the families that work with us. Learn more at MakingHeadway.org/comfort/.
Making Headway’s support of research has led to critical discoveries in the areas of neuroblastoma, medulloblastoma, immunotherapy, sonic hedgehog pathway mutations, novel medications, epigenetic signatures in DIPG, pilocytic astrocytomas, pediatric high-grade gliomas; and has established the Making Headway Preclinical Core, the country’s first laboratory where novel therapies can be tested on any subtype of pediatric brain tumor sample. Over 60 research papers have been published as as direct result of our grants.
“Cure” is the third pillar of our mission. While brain cancer is now the leading cause of cancer deaths among children, funding for research into this terrible disease continues to be woefully inadequate. Making Headway Foundation helps fill this important need by funding important research projects at institutions around the world. Learn more at MakingHeadway.org/cure/.